Renovating existing themes

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KIRA's picture
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I dont know if this is a good idea since it could be seen as disrespectful to original artists that created these themes originally but I was thinking that some of the official themes despite most of them being very well drawn they can be easily considered kinda poor/dry (few objects, few sprays, no flakes, no custom girders); I am referring specifically to these themes:


I was thinking if it was possible to renovate these themes by adding new objects, sprays and flakes or if it would be problematic.

Another problem I can see coming for example is that current seeds wont be available anymore.

The main reason I had this idea is that the "themes" that these themes represent are very cool and unique, so that it seems like a waste to me to have them so poorly developed.

KoBeWi's picture
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I used to play the default themes a lot and never felt they need more objects or something. What they miss though is more customization. Hedgewars has many features that are almost never used in the default themes, like custom girders/rubbers/mudballs, sky tint for sudden death, animated water textures, masked objects or objects with multiple anchors. Some of these features are used only by my themes, which is kinda sad. They allow for more diversity.

nemo's picture
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Yeah, I guess a fair # of those features were added later. Someone probably should revisit the default themes.

I'm a fan of masked objects, but I do agree themes "surprising" people with rubber or ice objects would be a little unfortunate. Especially in core themes. Even the winter girder behaviour is a bit "surprising".
We don't have a great mechanism for identifying such terrain types visually. Like... slippery surfaces could sparkle for example. We could handle something like that with a visual gear spread randomly over the terrain in lieu of a shader.

Hm... something to fiddle with. Probably easy to address. "scan Land[] array - if ice pixel encountered, roll die for adding a sparkle VG"

Bouncy land objects ideally would wiggle slightly I guess. That really could use a shader.

Gotta get cracking on the engine rewrite... But maybe some small interim measure could be with a sprite animation.

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Wuzzy's picture
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First of all, whenever we add or change land objects, we will break compability of the mapgen (for this theme), because the algorithm will put the objects elsewhere for the same seed. That's something to keep in mind.
But I want seeds to generate the exact same result in future versions as well. So I am not happy with changing any land objects since version 1.0.0 is already out.

What IS safely possible is changing all textures that don't alter the land generation when you change them, e.g. flakes, clouds or sprites.

Personally, I am actually happy with our themes, I don't know what needs to improve. Sadly, you are not very specific with your suggestion.

like custom girders/rubbers/mudballs

I think using the default can be perfectly defensible. It really depends on the theme. In general, I think theme features should not be used just for sake of using them. It's not a wrong choice to just use the default. Sometimes the deafult might be actually the best option.
For example, many themes use the default water color, but it's perfectly fine because other water colors might not even really make sense for the theme.

, sky tint for sudden death

Almost every default theme uses this. And for the few themes that don't, the default color was chosen deliberately.

, animated water textures,

It's one of the more esoteric features IMO. The default is kind of … fine, I guees. But I'm no artist. It really depends on how it will look in the end. I will not stand in the way of progress if someone wants to make an animated water that really looks better than what we have now. But I would probably insist on using this consistently then.

masked objects

I think this is actually risky because it creates ambiguity and frustation because players get surprised for no reason. I am OK with activating / deactivating the land background for sure, but I am much more skeptical with bouncy/ice/indestructible land objects because of surprise.

or objects with multiple anchors.

That would indeed be more interesting. It's mostly for historic reasons why we don't have more of these. I think the only theme with a multi-anchor object atm it Jungle.

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